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US stocks fall on Europe unrest, weaker home sales
A mixed report about the housing market and unrest in Europe yesterday extended the longest losing streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index since mid-July. Other risky assets, like European stocks and oil, fell more sharply. Stronger data on the US housing market have insulated stocks in recent weeks from a slackening global economy. Stocks’ other main source of support has been the Federal Reserve’s programme to boost the economy by pumping money in. That idea lost some luster Tuesday after a key Fed official said he doubted it will do much good.
The euro fell sharply against the dollar, and the price of oil closed below US$90 per barrel for the first time since early August. The yield on the ten-year Treasury note fell to 1.62 per cent from 1.67 per cent late Tuesday. A bond’s yield falls as its price increases.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44.04 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 13,413.51. The S&P 500 index fell 8.27, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,433.32. The only category that rose was utilities, relatively safe stocks that tend to hold their value when the economy is weak. The Nasdaq composite average fell 24.03 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 3,093.70.
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